Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 2013 High End Smartphone Buyers Guide

Phones without LTE need not apply. With two LTE offerings available at the mid-level, I will not be including any phones in the over Php20,000 category which do not offer LTE connectivity.

 If your budget is closer to 30K, I recommend a bit of patience. If you spend this much money, you probably want to keep your phone for some time, and the Sony Xperia Z, Sony Xperia ZL, HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S IV are just a month of two away from their Philippine release. 

1. Sony Xperia V (Smart Data Plan 2000/Php23,800) - HD + LTE

The Sony Xperia V has a 4.3-inch 720p display. The display has 354 pixels per inch, Sharper than Apple's iPhone. It is powered by the dual core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Krait processor. It has a a 13 MP camera, but performance is a bit below the 8MP units you find on Apple's iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S III. 

This phone come with Android 4.0.4 out of the box, but an update to Jelly Bean has been confirmed for this phone. Internal storage is less than the Xperia Acro S, at 8 GB, but it does come with a microSD card slot. The battery is a  1750 mAH unit, but 
it gets decent but not great battery life.

The real selling point of this phone is the HSPA+ and LTE radio. All in all, nothing spectacular, but with LTE and a low price, it is a good deal. The next phone on the list, will make you think twice about getting a Sony Xperia V though, 

2.  Nokia Lumia 920 (Php25,750) -  This could be the best smartphone in the Philippine market today

The Windows Phone 8 powered Nokia Lumia 920 uses the same processor and has as much RAM as the Sony Xperia V, but comes with a larger 4.5-inch HD (768 x 1280) PureMotion HD+ display with Clear Black technology, But this phone is all about the camera. The Lumia 920 has a 8MP primary camera with Carl Zeiss Optics and optical image stabilization, the first for a smartphone. A gyroscope is used to detect the motion of the phone and the whole optical assembly moves in the opposite direction to cancel out the movement. That happens 500 times a second. Finally an LTE chip rounds out the package. 

If you are buying a high end phone for cash this month, and willing to give Windows Phone 8 a try, this is the phone to buy this month.

3. Apple iPhone 5 (Plan 2499/Starts at Php33,600) - The best iPhone ever

The Apple iPhone 5 is the best iPhone every built. The main feature of the iPhone 5 is the new 4-inch (640 x 1136) display. These is a pretty substantial upgrade behind the display. Inside you have 1 GB of RAM and the new dual core A6 processor, making this twice as powerful as the iPhone 4S. The A6 processor is built on 32 nm technology, which gives the iPhone 5 not only more power, but also better battery life than previous iPhones. The 8 MP camera is rivaled only by the 8MP camera on Samsung phones, and the dedicated camera centric smartphones. Yes, it now has LTE activated.

The Apple iPhone 5 comes in three models, with 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. Storage is not expandable.

It is an excellent choice, if you are happy with a 4-inch or so display. 

This phone is available from both carriers at Plan 2499, but Globe Plan 1799 plus Php4,800 cash or Smarts Data Plan 2000 plus Php2,500 cash are better deals. 

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